Ghostbusters VFX Breakdown

Ghostbusters VFX Breakdown


Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.

Director: Paul Feig

VFX Done By 

Sony Pictures Imageworks
MPC -VFX Supervisor : David Seager
Iloura -VFX Supervisor : Glenn Melenhorst
Zero VFX

Production VFX Supervisor is Peter G. Travers

Ghostbusters VFX Breakdown By MPC 

MPC brings a 300 foot ghost to 1970’s times square 

Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat. Who ya gonna call…

Lead by MPC VFX Supervisor David Seager and VFX Producer Laura Schultz, MPC completed more than 250 shots. The MPC Vancouver team primarily focused on the action-packed finale and work included creating a 1970’s Times Square, a 2D no-ghost cartoon, a 300 foot tall 3D character and extensive FX work.

MPC Ghostbusters VFX breakdown

Despite being set in 1970’s Times Square, shooting took place on a green screen set with minimal set pieces due to the restrictive nature of the real location. The green screen set had street and sidewalk detailing, but the surrounding buildings were created in CG. Building the environment required extensive research to capture the detail of 1970’s architecture. In addition to the fully CG exterior of the fictional Mercado building, MPC also extended the sound stage set of the lobby as well as the upper floors.

MPC Ghostbusters VFX breakdown


The primary character at the centre of MPC’s work was the final monster form of Rowan. Similar to the original film, Rowan’s final form is determined by the Ghostbusters, which in this version of the movie is a giant recreation of the classic no-ghost logo. Director Paul Feig wanted Rowan to appear as if a cartoon had come to life. To achieve this look, a traditional 2D artist animated the no-ghost logo which was then composited into the photographed backgrounds of the Mercado lobby. In subsequent shots, this 2D animated version of the character is transformed into a fully realized 3D final form of Rowan.

MPC Ghostbusters VFX breakdown

Rowan, in his monster form, is a 300-foot tall version of the no-ghost cartoon. The design of this character was strongly influenced by the classic cartoons, where he had a very simplistic but heavily art-directed shape. The main challenge was in making a cartoon character integrate into a photographic film. To achieve this MPC modelled the character as if he had an underlying cartoon anatomy that had been wrapped in a loose cloth. The character therefore had a secondary anatomical motion with traditional muscle, fat and skin simulations giving the ghost more realistic features. In order to achieve the proper sense of scale, a high polygon count cloth simulation was created on the final surface surrounding the cartoon anatomy.

MPC Ghostbusters VFX breakdown

MPC’s FX work on Ghostbusters was varied, but consisted primarily of proton streams, ghost emanations, a giant ghostly portal and a large amount of destruction FX. A pipeline was built for the proton streams to give MPC’s animators simple controls that could define the basic shape of the beam. The FX team were then able to add chaotic lightening effects such as the motion of the proton stream before passing the final elements to compositing. The ghost emanations and portal FX were created using a combination of fluid and particle simulations.

MPC Ghostbusters VFX breakdown

Ghostbusters VFX Breakdown By Illoura

Ghostbusters VFX Breakdown By ZERO VFX Pt1

Zero vfx created an entire, animated CG character from scratch. Our electric chair victim ghost, nicknamed Fred, was haunting and ethereal, a combination of dead and alive. Using Maya, Houdini, V-Ray, N-Cloth and Matra, ZERO hand-built Fred and his luminescent blue energy all without a live action model. 

Ghostbusters second VFX Breakdown By ZERO VFX

creating a full CG character from scratch for 2016’s Ghostbusters, ZERO also delivered a variety of other high-end effects across the film.

ZERO worked to replicate the look of the original films’ proton packs and proton streams in CG, create the resulting and destructive FX caused by the proton streams, implement dust and other environmental details, and remove wires from actress, Melissa McCarthy. You can also see our detailed set extension work across the iconic Manhattan skyline and many other locations throughout the movie

Ghostbusters: Shot Breakdown Compilation-ImageworksVFX

Ghostbusters:Creating Slimer 


Ghostbusters: Creating Environments 


Ghostbusters Balloon Sequence ImageworksVFX





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